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How Flexible Working Conditions Shape My Job

Imagine it is 12.30 p.m. on an ordinary Thursday. Everyone around you is excited to get that lunch that was stuck in approximately 90 % of the people’s heads all morning – including yours.
Yet, instead of following your colleagues to the canteen, as you regularly do, you turn right and leave the office. Beyond that, you actually do not show up again until Monday, which makes it a very nice long weekend. Not too bad, right?

My name is Niklas and that is what I usually do. However, what might sound like a laid-back working routine turns out to be a bit more than that. The long weekends in fact serve a higher purpose other than just relaxation. They are a great support for me in my professional development. I am 22 years old and I am currently enjoying the flexible working environment at Continental. Being employed at the corporation’s Finance & Treasury department (more precisely: Corporate Credit Management) I simultaneously take part in a postgraduate study program to do my master’s degree.

My personal Continental story

Actually, the relationship to Continental as a company fostering me in my personal development traces back to the time when I started to work as an integrated degree student during the course of my bachelor’s. In the following roughly 3.5 years the decision to work for Continental has proven to be absolutely right. But rather than just praising a “perfect” organization (you know, nobody’s perfect!), I want to shortly sketch a realistic picture of what I am doing all day long and how I manage to keep the balance between job and studies.

At work, I spend most of my time dealing with the corporation’s receivables data dispensed by our entities all over the world. I am trying to contribute a small share to our way of becoming a data-driven company. This includes raising awareness, but also directly impacts what I am operationally doing day-to-day. One of my current projects is to improve the department’s data visualization environment. Browsing through the wide world of financial transactions and hunting insights that have a business impact can be quite a challenge for a company as big and diverse as Continental. Fortunately, a significant number of activities I am involved in is project-based. It makes my job exciting, as no day is like the other but also helps me align my schedules given job and study responsibilities.

However, in some weeks, meeting the expectations at work as well as in university can be tough. Here is where I rely on the amazing support of my boss and the leadership team around, emphasizing that personal development is not conflicting with one’s job but actually part of it. To be fair, all this would be hardly possible working full-time. Therefore, I work part-time and only do 75% of the regular hours – but of course 100% of the effort 😉

Nevertheless, the whole thing comes at a cost. Sacrificing one’s free time to a certain extent cannot be avoided. So, it is important to make sure to really enjoy what you do. For me personally, I appreciate the constant change. Getting to know how the real business world works but also advancing in academia at the same time really boosts my learning journey.

If you made it this far in the text, I am very delighted because the reading was somewhat enjoyable. In case of any questions, please leave a comment.


Niklas Bergmann

Niklas Bergmann

My name is Niklas. I am 22 years old and work at Continental AG's Finance & Treasury department. For more info, refer to my LinkedIn which is included in my contact details.

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